Friday Roundup


If you've been wondering what computer science enrollments are like across the pond, here's one answer: Cambridge University in the UK apparently has launched a campaign to recruit more students to computer science, and to dispel the myth that it’s “only for geeks”.

Dr Robert Harle, assistant director of research at the computer lab, said: ‘When the industry was at its peak, we were getting double the applicants we are getting now. The problem is that A-level students don’t know what computer science is all about, and don’t even consider applying for it.

'We have a recruitment day every year, and there are up to 150 jobs available. We only have about 80 graduates a year at the moment. The jobs are there, but it’s difficult to fill them. Local companies are telling us there is a shortage. They are saying if we had more graduates, they would have them.’”

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If you’ve been looking for talking points on women and tech entrepreneurship, then we hope you saw this terrific blog post: “Why Men Get VC Money and Women Don’t….and How that is Changing”. It gives a concise synopsis of why women-led startups haven’t been receiving VC funding, how the climate for women is changing, and a collection of terrific statistics and relevant research.  Worth a bookmark!

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SSAB member Jane Margolis and Academic Alliance member Andrew Williams teamed up this week to host LA Unified School District (LAUSD) students in a "computing open house" at UCLA.

"[It’s] a great way for students to meet computer scientists, learn how computers connect the world and have a presence in their own lives, and envision exciting possibilities for their futures," said Jane Margolis, a GSE&IS senior researcher and the principal investigator on the NSF grant. "This program addresses current disparities in access to college-preparatory education and brings college-preparatory high school computer science education to schools with high numbers of African American and Latino/a students."

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Here’s a frustrating story about a young woman entrepreneur – how might we have changed her mind about "ditching the high-tech part"?

“Jennifer Beall, 27, entered Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management determined to be an entrepreneur. That goal had stuck with her for years. Growing up in Austin, Texas, she was initially inspired by Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell. ‘But I ditched the high-tech part,’ she says (although she did earn an undergraduate degree in math from Duke University).”

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In case you missed it, Computer Engineer Barbie made it to The Wall Street Journal last week – and with it, NCWIT.  Check out the front page article and the accompanying blog, “Computer Engineer Barbie and the Role of Women in Tech”.

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If girls can hack, what else could they do with computers? Fast Company reports that 3 in 10 admitted teenage hackers were girls.

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The medical journal Lancet recently reported on research findings that the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth has declined dramatically in the last two decades. This NY Times article on the findings paints an interesting analogy for NCWIT, perhaps, in how to solve a seemingly intractable social problem: the myriad causes, the efficacy of interventions, and the importance of keeping good data.